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Community pharmacies are the best performing in England

Community pharmacies in the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System (ICS) area have been recognised as the best performing in the country for the number of flu vaccines they have administered to local people.

Latest figures published by the Pharmaceutical Journal show that participating pharmacies in the area each administered an average of 373 vaccinations, compared to the England average of 282.

Almost all pharmacies across the patch participated in the latest flu vaccination programme.

Additionally, a higher percentage of the population in Suffolk and north east Essex have received a flu vaccination compared to the national average, with latest figures showing vaccination rates:

• Over 65s in Suffolk and North East Essex ICS 82.9% (England average 80.9%)
• Under 65s in Suffolk and North East Essex ICS 55.7% (England average 53%)
• Pregnant women in Suffolk and North East Essex ICS 44.2% (England average 43.5%)
• Children aged 2 in Suffolk and North East Essex ICS 63% (England average 55.3%)
• Children aged 3 in Suffolk and North East Essex ICS 66.3% (England average 58%)

Dr Ed Garratt, executive lead for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, said: “Our community pharmacies are such an important part of the local health care system and it’s incredibly pleasing they have performed so well.

“With flu and COVID-19 circulating at the same time there was an early fostering of a partnership approach between pharmacies and the wider health care system.  More pharmacies than ever before participated in the flu programme, and pharmacies were able to take on more of the flu provision as GP practices focused on the roll out of COVID-19 vaccinations.

“As an ICS we worked hard on reinforcing the message that, despite COVID-19, flu vaccinations were still important for many people, and the new national NHS flu vaccination finder resource was a useful tool in supporting vaccination uptake.

“I want to thank everyone in our health system who supported the flu vaccination programme. There’s no doubt it was a challenging year but these results highlight the hard work of staff, as well as the determination of many local people to ensure their health was best protected.”

Tania Farrow, Pharmacist and Chief Officer of Suffolk Local Pharmaceutical Committee said: “Community pharmacy teams and GP practices have worked tirelessly to support the health of the public during a challenging time for the NHS. In a year like no other, pharmacies supported the ICS to make sure we made the most of our network of resources.

“Making a concerted effort to have a system-wide and collaborative approach to flu provision meant the local population was well protected from this common illness. This is a triumph of team working and shows the results that can be achieved.”

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